“We have some good memories of growing up in Estancia,” said Lillian Hernandez, an Estancia resident, adding “Growing up, my mom was the queen of parades in Estancia.”

She said Estancia used to boast lots of events and traditions that have dwindled away. She said part of the reason is Covid and part of the reason is people have let these traditions fade away.

After a two-year long pandemic, she said she was seeing lots of people online complaining that they had nothing to do. She realized that if she and other community members were willing to put in some work, they could bring back some of Estancia’s most beloved activities and get the community excited about it.

Hernandez said a woman from the community named Chariti Sanchez originally had the idea that the community should come together and create a committee to help create events and support the events that are still around like Old Timer’s Day.

Hernandez said that she, Albert Lovato, Stella Chavez, Tracey Master, Amy Ward and Christina Estrada formed the Estancia Special Events Committee this past summer. They are a volunteer group of community members that works to network with other community members to promote and create events.

She said the first event they helped with was Old Timers Day. “Chariti Sanchez called a group of us together to discuss what we could do to make the Old Timers Day event a success, especially after Covid,” Hernandez said. “We worked together to promote the event and Chariti’s husband Patrick lead the way on getting a car show together for the event. It turned out great and well attended,” she added.

After that, the committee assisted in the promotion of the 2021 Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival. Albert Lovato had an idea to do a Halloween event for the town and Hernandez worked on inviting local business and community members to participate in providing some fun for our youth and families.

“Between the parade, park games, the trunk or treat at the Methodist church, the town was filled with families and kids having a great time!” she said.

This year the group is hosting the first ever Luminarias in the Park event to coincide with the Light Parade and Craft Fair on Dec. 11.

The committee will be selling luminarias for $1 each and then will display them at Arthur Park following the parade. All the proceeds will go towards future events for the community of Estancia.

“We hope that the fundraiser does well so we can continue to do fun and interesting things for our town and surrounding areas, but more importantly, I hope that it is successful so that we can leave a beautiful memory of our town, state and culture in the hearts of our local kiddos and people,” she said.